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Metallica - Classic Albums
Track listing
1- Enter Sandman
2- Sad But True
3- Holier than Thou
4- The Unforgiven
5- Wherever I may Roam
6- Nothing Else Matters
7- End Credits

Bonus Interviews
1- James and Lars Discuss Songwriting
2- Recording Techniques
3- Kirks Guitar Solo- “Wherever I may Roam”
4- Jason Talks About “My Friend Misery”
5- Bob Rock in the Desert
6- The Mix, The Masters, and the End of Story
7- The God that Failed

Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
Picture: 16:9
Running time: 93 Minutes
Released by: Classic Album Series / Eagle Eye Media - 2001

Recording Location & Date: One On One Recording Los Angeles, California October 1990 - June 1991
The Band: 
James Hetfield - Guitar, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar
Jason Newsted - Bass
Bob Rock - Producer




Like the documentaries that the Classic Album Series have released in the past, including Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, Judas Priest’s British Steel, and Deep Purple’s Machine Head among many other albums, we get the look inside the whole recording process, the songwriting ideas, and a behind the scenes view of what really went on. With this particular album, which was something completely new for Metallica when it comes to the whole recording process, seemed to almost implode the band, causing Hetfield to even seek singing instruction.

When you look at the Black Album, it was a new step for Metallica, they had just recently recruited Bob Rock, who was the man behind the board on Motley Crue’s smash Dr. Feelgood, which had only been out a few years earlier, to produce the record; regardless of the bands first impression of Rock being negative. Rock literally took the band in a different direction when it came to working together in the studio, making the band play together at the same time. Up until this point, Metallica would record themselves separately, with each member doing their own thing one at a time. This would ultimately add to the friction between band members and their producer.

But Rock’s vision of the record came together with the marriage of performing together copulated with various studio tricks that worked well, making the album sound more raw than overproduced. You have to remember that this was recorded in the days before Pro-Tools, or any other major digital audio workstation that might have been placed in recording studios like they are today; the tricks used here are raw with pure musicianship. The in-depth look (or should I say in-depth listening) at the multitrack tapes one track at a time gives us insight to how such a big sound came about. We hear droned guitars, harmonized arpeggios, 12-string basses, and other oddities that were not prominent in the final mix, but yet ambient and crucial to the whole sound. We also hear how engineering techniques were vital in giving the album its heavy sound, and we also learn that the mix of “Enter Sandman” set the tone for how the rest of the album was mixed, being heavy, punchy, and aggressive.



The Classic Albums DVD was filmed around 2001 giving us a full-committed 93 minutes of James, Lars, Kirk, Jason and Bob Rock looking back and giving us their own thoughts on the self-titled Metallica or black album as its known. This album was a huge hit worldwide. The DVD goes through some of the biggest hits on the album including clips from the all famous “Enter Sandman” in which the main riff was created by Kirk jamming!, "Holier Than Thou", "Sad But True", ”The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters”.

My personal favourite is when they look back on “Wherever I May Roam” when the whole song consisted of  the vocals being nannna naaaana annna and James saying they were the original lyrics and the song was going to be like this but the other guys didn’t like them ha ha ha ha ha!!!

“Nothing Else Matters” is documented complete with an interview from Michael Kamen, the man who composed the orchestration on this cut, which was another thing that was new to Metallica. We also get a look about how the whole S&M release came together years later with the orchestra, which completely contrasts the reluctance of the band wanting to use an orchestra on this song in the first place.

Overall I think this is a excellent Metallica DVD giving us a great insight to the never stopping ‘Tallica train.

Mike Allam 2004


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